For the third time in the 2020 season, Valtteri Bottas was unable to convert a pole position into a win. At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though, some especially bad luck looks to have been a factor.
On lap two the Finn collected a sizeable piece of debris from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, which ended up stuck to his Mercedes F1 W11 for much of the race. He said he saw the debris too late, and purposefully drove over it rather than try to avoid and potentially pick up a puncture. It was removed at a pitstop in the latter stages at the GP, but by that point it was too late, with the foreign object and the damage it had caused to Bottas’ underfloor hampering aero performance.
Bottas couldn’t challenge Lewis Hamilton for the win, with his teammate crossing the line to take the 93rd victory of his career and making a seventh world title seem all but inevitable. The one-two also secured Mercedes’ seventh consecutive constructors’ championship.
F1’s return to Imola (or the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, to give it the full name) for the first time since 2006 provided plenty of drama. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen retired from second place following a high-speed tyre failure, with Williams driver George Russel crashing during the subsequent safety car period.
This late bunching up of the field and jumbling of tyre strategies set up a thrilling battle for third place, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo coming out on top and snagging his second podium in three races.
F1 will be returning to another old favourite for the next round - Istanbul Park. The Turkish venue hasn’t held a Grand Prix since 2011.